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Skype for Windows on Linux using Wine

Please note, I’m using a newer version of wine than whats available by default.
Head to for details on upgrading your version of wine.

To install Skype for Windows on Linux x64 using Wine:

possibly need winbind installed, dunno
rm -rf .wine
WINEARCH=win32 winecfg change to windows 7
#for nvidia closed drivers might need: winetricks orm=backbuffer glsl=disable
WINEARCH=win32 wine SkypeSetupFull.exe
–setup will crash/exit
cd .wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\Skype/Phone/
WINEARCH=win32 wine Skype.exe /username:your_username /password:your_password
–skype will probably crash the first time you run it

its randomly crashing when i didnt use WINEARCH=32, trying 32 now, i have no idea, ill open comments later

How to listen to an old boiler

At work we have an old steam boiler heating system that was original to the building. A short time back, I installed a cheap IP camera (30 bucks) to watch the steam gauge (the main air handlers run on steam while the radiators run on just hot water) to monitor when we could ‘dump heat’ into the building. It’s old and sometimes has trouble getting started for whatever reason. This camera also has a microphone that I could listen to using something such as MPlayer. I made a script to ‘listen’ to the boiler room every minute for 4 seconds and analyze the audio to determine if the boiler is on or off. Since its old and fairly loud, it has been pretty reliable so far… Check out the script below that runs in cron every minute:


* * * * * /path/to/boiler-audio > /dev/null 2>&

boiler-audio file:



/usr/bin/mplayer -quiet -dumpstream -dumpfile $DUMPFILE http://192.168.x.x/audio.cgi &
sleep $TIME
kill $PID

AMP=`/usr/bin/sox -t .wav $DUMPFILE -n stat 2>&1 | grep "Maximum amp" | cut -d"." -f2`

if [ "$AMP" -gt "300000" ]

echo `date +%r` > $BOILERTIME

Linux Mint 15

Today I decided to try out Linux Mint 15.

This is a FRESH INSTALL and I’ve managed to break it in about 15 seconds.

Apparently there’s a known bug that Linux Mint’s shiny new file browser (Nemo) freezes when you copy multiple files over a network. This bug has timestamps from March 2013 and it’s the end of August. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

Why is such an obvious thing not working right out of the box and nobody seems to be doing anything about fixing it. I’m not talking about what actually might be happening with their developers, but my actual user experience. I downloaded a Linux distro that’s been receiving praise for being ‘one of the best’ Linux desktop experiences ever and I can’t copy a 10 MB folder across the network and then find out it’s a bug that’s been known about for MONTHS.

I really want to love Linux on the desktop as much as I love using Linux on servers, but how can I? It always seems like some distro will get a good thing going and then totally sabotage all their hard work by changing things that simply shouldn’t have been changed (I’m looking at you Ubuntu with your awful Unity interface). Or some underlying project will fork, or we decided to completely change the way sound works or whatever.

I just want it to work. I don’t care what developer x had to say or why ‘we just shouldn’t do it that way’ just because. Why did Debian remove aircrack then Ubuntu as well? Here, read this.

Yes I know your distro has the best oxygen generator and can even fly my computer to Mars, but its worthless to me if I cannot do simple office tasks: watching a flash video, right click dragging, copy a folder of files.

Why hasn’t Linux penetrated much on the desktop front? Simple answer: I, you, other users, all have our own work to get done and I simply don’t have time to battle and ‘trick’ my operating system to do what I want.

Sigh, I guess I try Ubuntu again or something…

angry tux

The End of Windows XP

Microsoft will finally be pulling the plug on Windows XP and ending support of the 11 year old operating system on April 8th, 2014.

What does this mean? Time to move on. Time to get Windows 7 or Windows 8 (and if you aren’t a fan of the new ‘Start Menu’ on Windows 8, head on over to and select the ‘Classic Start’ from the Utilities)

Biggest concern? Businesses and stand-alone appliances that rely on XP. The clock is ticking guys, upgrade.

Removing IP’s from DenyHosts

DenyHosts will scan your auth logs and add any ip to hosts.deny trying to brute force a login. That’s great, but I feel it lacks an important feature: An easy way to remove a blacklisted ip address. So I’ve come up with a script to do it for you.

Please note, I’ve only tested this on Debian Linux and you may have to modify it to fit your operating system.

Save the following as ‘ipdenyremove’ and you’re set:

if [[ $1 == "" ]]; then
        echo "usage: ./ipdenyremove ip-to-remove-from-denyhosts";
        exit 1;

for x in `ls $thepath`; do
        echo "$file" | {
                while read line; do
                    if [[ $line != *$1* ]]; then
                        echo $line
        } > $thepath/$x

echo "$file" | {
        while read line; do
            if [[ $line != *$1* ]]; then
                echo $line
} > $hostsdeny

WizMouse and KatMouse

Couple neat programs I heard about the other day.

Essentially they let you scroll your mouse wheel in programs without actually having the windows be in focus (plus a few other options). Extremely useful in multiple monitor setups.

WizMouse (my favorite)



Save time/sanity – use

NOTE: I am not affiliated with in any way.

Back in the bad days of setting up ‘out of the box’ computers for people, I would try to maintain an archive of the ‘commonly free installed programs’ to save on remembering what programs to get, where to get them, and then actually downloading/installing them. (Firefox, Flash, Java, Putty, Essentials Antivirus, codecs, etc)

Then one day I came across

Go to the site, you are presented with a list of programs/checkboxes.
Check what you want, download the program, and WALK AWAY. Everything automatically downloads and installs all the selected programs (it even picks the correct options and ops-out of ANY bundled toolbar plugins).

Disable Java in all browsers

This will show you how to disable Java in all locally installed browsers.

Many virus infections these days come from infected websites exploiting the Java plugin in your browser, regardless if using Firefox or whatever.

If you don’t use Java in your web browser, DISABLE IT.Note: This does not disable Java on your computer for local programs (such as Minecraft or something similar). This will only affect your web browsers.


First, make sure you have the LATEST Java installed
(earlier Java versions do not have this feature available).

Then click Start> Control Panel> View Large Icons

Locate the ‘Java’ icon, open it, and click on the ‘Security’ tab.
Make sure the ‘Enable Java content in the browser’ is NOT checked (see below).